After the always beloved international break we’re back to Premier League action this weekend, with some key Manchester United players wishing they could stay abroad ahead of their fixture with Liverpool.
Everton vs West Ham
West Ham have had a decent start to the season but predictably lost out to Crystal Palace last time out when they had a chance to move into the top four. Everton, meanwhile, sit in the relegation zone, and manager Marco Silva seems to be under serious threat of being sacked. With Everton being awful at the moment, West Ham will fancy their chances at Goodison Park, and if they want to seriously push for a European spot, they will need to win these sorts of games against relegation candidates Everton. That being said, if there’s any game that sums up the Hammers, it’s them losing this one.
Everton 2-0 West Ham
Aston Villa vs Brighton
Aston Villa will have been one club particularly rueing the international break after their 5-1 demolition of Norwich in their last Premier League fixture. Brighton were similarly impressive in their 3-0 win over Spurs, so this game could be more exciting than perhaps most would have originally thought. The two teams sit 15th and 14th respectively, so both will want to pick up 3 points in their individual fights to move away from the relegation places. After all this exciting build up, I can almost guarantee this one will finish 0-0.
Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton
Bournemouth vs Norwich
Norwich are having a bit of an injury crisis at the moment and have had a rapid decline after the heights of beating Manchester City just a few weeks ago. Bournemouth sit solidly in 10th after a mixed start but will be looking to pick up another 3 points in this one. Norwich will have to adapt with their current squad available, as their free-flowing attacking football may come unstuck against a side such as Bournemouth with their attacking potential. I think Bournemouth could score a few in this one.
Bournemouth 4-1 Norwich
Chelsea vs Newcastle
Considering Chelsea’s transfer embargo, I think many consider them to have had a more impressive start to the season than anticipated, if we forget about their opening day thrashing at Old Trafford. Newcastle have picked up impressive wins against Spurs and United, the problem being that they are the only wins they have. Some part of me thinks that the tactical genius Steve Bruce could do a number on relative newbie Frank Lampard, but at the same time they’ll probably get thrashed.
Chelsea 5-0 Newcastle
Leicester vs Burnley
Brendan Rodger’s side have had a very impressive start to the new season, with their only defeats coming at Old Trafford and Anfield. With the likes of Spurs and United flailing, Leicester have a genuine chance at securing a top 4 spot. These are the sorts of games they need to win if they want that Champions League spot to be a reality. Burnley have improved on the road recently and have slipped under the radar somewhat after a very promising start, which will be exactly how Sean Dyche will like it. That being said, I think Leicester have a much stronger squad than Burnley, but there’s no doubt that the Clarets will give them a tough game here.
Leicester 2-1 Burnley
Tottenham vs Watford
Now Watford haven’t won a game all season, but surely, even they can beat this out of sorts Spurs side. Pochettino is under serious pressure after his side’s indifferent start to the season, and have lost captain Hugo Lloris after his sickening injury after his mistake in the game at Brighton. If Watford are to kick start their season, this could present an excellent chance, but they’ll need to sort out the defensive frailties of their own if they are to come away with three points in this one. Both teams are in shocking form, but Watford really are dreadful at the moment.
Spurs 3-2 Watford
Wolves vs Southampton
After a fairly poor start to the campaign, Wolves have finally started to show the sort of form that earned them a Europa league spot last season, and impressively dispatched Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad last time out. Southampton will present a very different challenge to that of City however, and by different, I mean less of a challenge. Wolves will be looking to make it 3 wins from 3, but Southampton will set up for a draw, and Danny Ings will probably nick one on the break.
Wolves 0-1 Southampton
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
It will be interesting to see how the Citizens recover from their shock defeat to Wolves last time out. City, despite sitting second, are already 8 points behind leaders Liverpool and will be looking to avoid dropping any more points to ‘lower’ opposition. Palace have had a very decent start but are traditionally better away from Selhurst Park. I think we will see a serious reaction from Guardiola’s men, and I fear for the likes of Scott Dann and Gary Cahill with Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero, Silva and De Bruyne running at them for 90 minutes.
Palace 0-5 Manchester City
Manchester United vs Liverpool
Relegation candidates versus title favourites at Old Trafford. Liverpool have been perfect so far, whereas United have honestly picked up more points than I expected. United will be without David De Gea and Paul Pogba, the latter of which may be a blessing rather than a curse. Liverpool meanwhile remain at full strength and are looking for a frankly ridiculous 18th consecutive Premier League win. A very small part of me thinks United will suddenly up their game and shock Jurgen Klopp’s side, but then I remembered United are dire and Liverpool are rather good. This will be a long way from the high-quality high passion ties of old.
Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool
Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Monday evening’s game sees Arsenal travel to Brammall Lane. Despite numerous Emery out accounts on twitter becoming active in recent times, Arsenal sit third after eight games with Emery continuing to give young players such as Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson a run of games. Chris Wilder’s side have been steady in their opening eight games of the Premier League campaign, currently occupying 13th place. Wilder will want to make their home ground a difficult place for big sides to go, and this won’t be an easy game for the Gunners.
Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal